Washington, D.C., August 19, 2009 – The Space Frontier Foundation today congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and NASA on their joint discovery of water across the Lunar surface.
“This discovery marks a turning point for humanity’s future in space,” remarked Foundation Director Berin Szoka. “Just as lumber, coal, and oil found in the New World powered America’s development, the precious resource of Lunar water will enable a truly open frontier in space.”
Scientists had previously assumed the Moon was bone-dry except for small concentrations of ice at the poles, but the Indian probe Chandrayaan-1 has confirmed the presence of water throughout the Lunar surface frozen in Lunar soil where it could easily be harvested.
“If we have water we have the core elements needed to support life,” said SFF Founder Rick Tumlinson. “H2O is a magic formula: We can drink it, raise crops with it, or even break it down for oxygen to breathe. We can even recombine the hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket propellant. Confirming the widespread existence of Moonwater means we have a nearby oasis in space around which we can build true human communities beyond the Earth. There will be flowers on the Moon in our lifetimes.”
Since its creation in 1988, the Foundation has advocated using the resources we find in space to enable human exploration and settlement of the frontier-rather than carrying those resources from the Earth’s surface. These include both asteroid/comet materials and Lunar deposits such as those confirmed in today’s announcement.
“Lunar water will be the ‘mother’s milk’ of permanent human settlement not just of the Moon but of the rest of the Solar System,” concluded Szoka. “Finding water on the Moon is the key to opening the Space Frontier: Once you can refuel in space, you can ‘live off the land’ just like the early settlers who opened frontiers on Earth.”